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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    cheshire
    Posts
    1,204

    Making an original style dash

    All, I have always had the vision to build as close to an original look as possible, this has probably been the main reason why the build has taken so long. This thread is to show what it takes to change the AK dash to an original style dash, its took me some time to gather the parts in preparation but as my car is booked in for paint on the 6th August, it’s a job I need to start sooner rather than later. I won’t be updating daily and it may take me 2-3 weeks to get to the finished article but what I can show is the work you don’t see just to get to the ‘look’! the top dash is the look


    I have spent months getting such detail as twin fans, correct gear stick, period handbrake, knock offs that look correct, bespoke made original roll bar repositioned behind the driver, commissioned original style washer jets and finally the last missing piece arrived last week – an original style roll top ash tray – and I do mean an original with patina – not a brand new shiny. Like I said I want the car to look correct even though getting this dash ready has thrown up a surprise – I will divulge later.
    So back in the day, a good friend shown me his painted car and pointed out a couple of body issues that had evolved over time, so I decided to make an addition to the scuttle frame to reinforce the area that had sunk. This also gave me the foundation support for the 2 x 1” tubes that form the triangle that fasten behind the dash to in the future.

    This was a piece of 1 ½ inch wide 6mm flat bar, it was bent to match the top curvature shape of the dash area sitting flat, so if it fits the top shape, it should fit the underside as well, it was then bonded to the underside, once bonded it was then welded to the AK scuttle box section.
    Last edited by 427jlc; 22-05-19 at 08:26 PM.
    .............never drive faster than your guardian angel.

    cobraclub.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/633 - this is the link to my build photo's you have to put w w w . h t t p : / / in front of it!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    cheshire
    Posts
    1,204
    The next part was to buy another BMW steering column and a MGB column. Once dismantled I need to retain the mounts and lower section to fit into the AK steering section but I wanted the small centre original OEM 6 bolt steering wheel , original OEM boss and VW turn indicator.


    This photo shows the intermediate shaft that I made on the lathe, the small section slides inside the BMW lower tube, the MGB section slides into the wider section at the top. Luckily the MGB top tube with the bearing slid perfectly inside the BMW outer tube. All I had to do was find the correct length, tack weld and finish it on the bench



    MGB upper, new section and BMW lower all welded together. I placed this in the lathe to ensure it was perfectly centralised and let it rotate whilst I held the mig steady – this ensure it was all aligned even though the slid fit tolerance on the part I made was 0.5mm out. This gave it a damn tight fit once I had slid all the sections together.

    With this having recesses for both BMW and MGB upper and lower bearing – it was just a case of ensuring the outer tube length was correct. AK builder should recognise the BMW section to the left and the MGB is on the right now the beauty of the MGB section is the VW indicator arm fits perfectly over the top.










    .............never drive faster than your guardian angel.

    cobraclub.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/633 - this is the link to my build photo's you have to put w w w . h t t p : / / in front of it!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    cheshire
    Posts
    1,204
    The finished part



    And how it looks in the car, this is all mock up and now these jobs are out the way I can move onto the dashboard mock up and final fit. More to follow……


    Lee










    Last edited by 427jlc; 22-05-19 at 08:38 PM.
    .............never drive faster than your guardian angel.

    cobraclub.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/633 - this is the link to my build photo's you have to put w w w . h t t p : / / in front of it!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Wrexham
    Age
    47
    Posts
    515
    Tidy Lee.
    Reg
    Gav
    AK Ls1/t56
    Body on April 2014
    Passed IVA March 2017
    Registered April 2017.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    cheshire
    Posts
    1,204
    Now that it’s IVA’d I have the car booked in for paint on the 6th August and this is a job I want to get out the way sooner rather than later. There will be some cutting away to the sides of the door aperture which I will cover later. So the last 2 years was spent collecting original switches and knobs, all the gauges will original style all manual no electric senders! This was the dash for test





    A while ago I obtained an original aluminium dash, I decided to take a mould from it as I would be chopping and cutting. This mould was then used to trial fit in a friends cobra who was midway through a build – thanks Peterj1974 – I was playing around with the cardboard printed mock up dash for a while but having an original sized dash thrown up a real surprise - a whole 7 inches was cut from the centre……that just goes to show how much wider an original car is. Once cut, it was fibre glassed back together. At least I could offer it up as had now managed to get it to the correct width and height.







    I then tidied this up, screwed it to piece of MDF board to keep it flat and took a dash blank from this mould. Now I had a half decent surface to work to, I will only use this to get the holes for the steering column and gauges etc correct. I can then get the aluminium dash cut down to size and transfer the measurements to the ali dash without guessing and end up throwing it into the bin. At least this way I can get a couple of chances to get it wrong…..and I will!!












    No need to criticise my amazingly crap skills in making fibreglass dashboards but it was my first ever venture and I only need it for sizing, finish and looks are not important – the blue is the release agent.


    Nest steps will to remove the old dash, trial fit the replacement column, then start to cut away the unwanted fibreglass, make the 2 down tubes and transfer it all the Ali dash, cut the dash down and order the correct vinyl – Kevin – you should know the spec!!

    that's it until the next update

    Lee


    .............never drive faster than your guardian angel.

    cobraclub.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/633 - this is the link to my build photo's you have to put w w w . h t t p : / / in front of it!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    cheshire
    Posts
    1,204
    cheers Gav.....!
    .............never drive faster than your guardian angel.

    cobraclub.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/633 - this is the link to my build photo's you have to put w w w . h t t p : / / in front of it!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Perth
    Age
    53
    Posts
    1,675
    Looking good Lee

    If you are looking for the original style indicator stalk these guys have some

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Jp-Group-...oAAOSwwhxcBTRh

    cheers
    Kiel and Duncan (dad and the lad errr young man now)

    AHP Crendon Chassis No 1
    Ford FE 434, dual quad, Toploader total old school all the way
    https://www.crendonreplicas.com/
    http://www.absolutehorsepower.co.uk/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    cheshire
    Posts
    1,204
    Cheers, I have one for mock up and an Original for the final Assembly but I've saved it in my watch list as it's untested, thanks
    .............never drive faster than your guardian angel.

    cobraclub.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/633 - this is the link to my build photo's you have to put w w w . h t t p : / / in front of it!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    cheshire
    Posts
    1,204
    So I have taken the plunge and removed my old Dash,

    Mocked up the altered steering column an took some measurements,old dash



    removed and new column installed.



    then offered up my newly delivered 6 bolt steering wheel



    the angle of the photo shows it all too close but it will go back 3 inches.




    with the measurements taken all was removed and the sacrificial fibreglass dash was temporarily screwed in place.



    sorry for the crap photo but you get the idea, more measuring and drawing and updates to follow.



    it needs going another 1/2inch up and than cut the sides away to reveal the return edges of the dash. sorry but rain stopped play,

    Le
    .............never drive faster than your guardian angel.

    cobraclub.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/633 - this is the link to my build photo's you have to put w w w . h t t p : / / in front of it!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    cheshire
    Posts
    1,204
    update is the steering column hole is bang on! now I can transfer it to the aluminium dash an cut that dash down to fit the AK.




    transferred to the ali dash



    now to trim 6" out the middle ad weld it together -no going back now!!!





    now its welded - 2 weeks of measuring repositioning and making sure I have enough bloody holes!!




    ..............and finally the test fit




    now I have the correct vinyl, I'm waiting on a washer switch and high temp glue, should have it done by the time the car is back from paint in 2 weeks!

    I will say the amount of increase in leg/cockpit room is amazing especially being over 6ft.

    happy building!!
    .............never drive faster than your guardian angel.

    cobraclub.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/633 - this is the link to my build photo's you have to put w w w . h t t p : / / in front of it!!

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